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date: 07 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on older adult trauma survivors. Information is presented on prevalence of acute stress disorder (ASD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); course, functional impairment, suicide risk, cognitive impairment, accelerated aging, healthcare utilization in older adults with PTSD, and the impact of demographic factors such as gender, ethnicity, and race on PTSD in older individuals. In general, rates of ASD and PTSD are lower in older adults compared to other age groups. PTSD in older adults has been linked to suicidal ideation and attempts, functional impairment, physical health, cognitive impairment, accelerated aging, and increased healthcare utilization. Although delayed onset of PTSD has been empirically verified in some military samples with veterans and younger adult civilians, it is rare in the absence of any prior symptoms and might more accurately be labeled “delayed recognition.” More information on trauma and PTSD in diverse populations of older adults is needed, such as racial/ethnic as well as sexual and gender minorities, those with severe physical or mental impairment, non–community-residing groups, and those from non-industrialized countries.

Keywords: aged, posttraumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, review, epidemiology, delayed-onset PTSD, PTSD

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